Modulation of the host inflammatory response to infection may be a key approach to improve the outcome of patients with sepsis and organ injury. We previously reported that pretreatment of rats with the liver X receptor (LXR) agonist GW3965 reduced the liver injury associated with endotoxemia and attenuated the production of TNF-α by rat Kupffer cells. Here, we examine the dose-dependent effect of GW3965 on liver injury and cytokine production in a rat model of endotoxemia and explore the mechanisms underlying TNF-α attenuation in Kupffer cells. Low doses of GW3965 (0.1 or 0.3 mg/kg) administered 30 min before infusion of LPS and peptidoglycan significantly attenuated the increase in plasma levels of the liver injury markers alanine aminotransferase and bilirubin (6 h) as well as the inflammatory mediators TNF-α (1 h) and prostaglandin E2 (6 h) associated with endotoxemia. In contrast, pretreatment with a higher dose of GW3965 (1.0 mg/kg) had no such effect. Studies in primary cultures of rat Kupffer cells demonstrated that LXR agonist treatment attenuated both the secreted and cell-associated levels of TNF-α, whereas TNF-α mRNA levels were not altered. Phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, which plays a major role in production of TNF-α at the posttranscriptional level, was attenuated by GW3965 treatment in Kupffer cells. Experiments in murine LXR-deficient Kupffer cells demonstrated enhanced production of TNF-α in Kupffer cells from LXR-α mice when challenged with LPS compared with LXR-β and wild-type Kupffer cells. Taken together, these results argue in favor of a novel mechanism for LXR-mediated attenuation of liver injury by interfering with posttranscriptional regulation of TNF-α in Kupffer cells.
- Intracellular signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Emergency Medicine